Venus’ clouds too dry, acidic for all times

A cloudy, light brownish orb.

Enlarge / Venus’ thick environment was photographed in ultraviolet mild in 1979 by the Pioneer Venus Orbiter. (credit score: NSSDCA Picture Gallery)

Final 12 months, a research made waves by suggesting a chemical that had been proposed as a possible indicator of life was current within the environment of Venus. Whereas the hellish situations on the planet’s floor preclude the existence of any kind of life there, it remained doable {that a} milder setting existed within the planet’s clouds, excessive above its floor. So the prospect that the chemical was indicating life could not be instantly discounted.

Within the months following, different researchers solid doubt on the declare that the chemical was current in any respect. And at this time, a paper is being launched the means that the situations in Venus’ clouds are by no means appropriate with life even remotely much like that on Earth. Though the temperatures within the clouds are certainly milder, there’s nowhere close to sufficient water to assist life, and most of what is current is in droplets which are largely composed of sulfuric acid.

Setting limits

In a press convention asserting the outcomes, John Hallsworth of Queen’s College Belfast stated that the brand new work was impressed by the obvious detection of phosphine in Venus’ environment. He and his collaborators realized that two areas of analysis had mixed to create different methods to look at the prospects of life on Venus. One was a research of life in excessive situations on Earth, pushed partly by a NASA effort to find out how finest to guard Mars from contamination by the probes we have been sending there.

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